Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: What plants do butterflies NOT go to

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Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
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bhart90
Jun 8, 2016 9:18 PM CST
Are their any plants that butterflies and/or bees NOT go to?
Or the smallest amount of pollen/nectar

I'm making my pollinating garden and want to know of which ones they avoid, or you DONT see them going to.

Thank you
Brenden
Brenden
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 9, 2016 9:20 AM CST
Big, showy flowers, generally, are less likely to be of interest to bees/butterflies. Stick with natives and things should go well!
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Name: Christine
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wildflowers
Jun 9, 2016 9:58 AM CST
Yes, they prefer natives and single blooms, NOT the double blooms of hybrid type flowers that make it difficult for them to get to the nectar and/or pollen.
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whereami
Jun 24, 2016 7:10 AM CST
An interesting question...I have tried to grow mostly native plants for the pollinators...odd thing is (and this is anecdotal...just 1 person's observations), this year the big, showy pollinators, i.e., the bees and butterflies seem to be in greatest numbers on the violets, dandelions and thistle!! I have VA bluebells, columbine, beardtongue etc. all the deer resistant plants I can think of and that are easily grown from seed yet the only pollinators I see consistently on these are, tiny wasps, assorted other small beetles and flies, and ants. So, I agree grow the natives but if you really want to support the greatest number of species, keep your dandelions, the odd thistles (not Canada thistle!), common milkweed and mountain mint. In the fall, make sure you have some Solidago-goldenrods and asters! And...don't forget about the tiny pollinators Smiling
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GrammaChar
Jun 24, 2016 7:24 AM CST
Good observations, whereami. I'll add that butterflies seem to enjoy "platform flowers" like coneflowers and zinnias Never see any on petunias. But the mist flowers are always busy with bees and butterflies!
GrammaChar
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Jun 24, 2016 1:20 PM CST
They sure do. I have coneflowers, didnt even think about the butterflies, but they love them.

I love black and blue salvia, the hummers love it, but I do notice that every time the butterflies land on it, it just falls over, they just cant seem to get to the flower. Leaves more for the hummers !!
Name: Missy
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Zazinnia
Jun 24, 2016 2:46 PM CST
My black and blue salvia is always covered with bees.
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Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Jun 24, 2016 3:12 PM CST
Im trying to get more bees, so thats great to know.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
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mellielong
Jun 24, 2016 3:59 PM CST

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Char, they may not go to the petunias you find at the big box stores, but surely you remember my Skipper that literally crawled into a Carolina Petunia (which is also a host plant for the Common Buckeye). Notice the bee in the first picture, too!

Thumb of 2016-06-24/mellielong/6bad47 Thumb of 2016-06-24/mellielong/23614f

But I will say that daisy-like flowers are very attractive to butterflies. Blanket Flowers, Asters, Coneflowers, etc. Don't they call those kind of flowers "composites"?
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GrammaChar
Jun 24, 2016 4:12 PM CST
Great photos, Melanie. Are those a wild petunia? The bugs and butterflies don't seem to like the native Laura Bush petunias. I grow them anyway because they're pretty.
GrammaChar
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
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mellielong
Jun 24, 2016 4:41 PM CST

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Yup, they're a native petunia. Carolina Wild Petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis)
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Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
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bhart90
Jul 2, 2016 10:42 PM CST
Thank you guys. Curious, have any of you ever tasted nectar on plants?
I did in a petunia and my hibiscus haha. I don't know how Coneflower has any, seems spiky and boring haha
Brenden
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Jul 6, 2016 6:32 PM CST
Hi Brendan,

Yarrow, chives, aster and beebalm are all great for attracting pollinators also.

http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/1557-gardening-to-attra...

http://www.michigandnr.com/publications/pdfs/huntingwildlife...
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
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bhart90
Jul 6, 2016 8:42 PM CST
Haha, sort of ironic, chives give me hives.
Brenden
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Jul 7, 2016 8:00 AM CST
My asters are about to bust open, cant wait. The flower I did not think anyone would like, but they darn sure seem too, is marigolds. I never thought of them as anything but to keep bugs off tomatoes

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